Label: Brew Records/Dance To The Radio Release date: 01/11/2010 Website: Myspace Buy: Amazon Modern Bodies is the long-awaited debut album proper from Leeds rockers Chickenhawk. The record combines the best tracks from their previous limited edition album and EP, but all the songs have been reworked to represent the band more as they stand now. About to embark on a UK and European tour alongside Alexisonfire, the four-piece have already established a reputation for astounding live performances, but will they be able to translate this energy and enthusiasm into the recordings? Launching straight into ‘Scorpieau’, you’re hit straight round the head with what you’ve let yourself in for – a pursuit of pummelling riffs alongside satisfyingly melodic hooks, although they do leave plenty of room for experimentation. ‘NASA v ESA’ follows and ingeniously discusses the merits of space travel, opening with Paul Astick’s yelled lines of: “When I was a boy, I wanted to be an astronaut” before the refrain of “take me to the moon, man”. ‘Son Of CERN’ is another intelligent song full of peculiar and likeable noises, set against a traditional and increasingly chaotic rock soundtrack. This helps show the band’s fondness for ear-splitting noise, something in evidence throughout the album. Their sound evolves with ‘The Pin’ - which is almost as angry as Blakfish, but crossed with the harmonious aesthetics of Reuben. ‘My Name Is Egg’ verges more into metal territory but has synthy voice effects at the end of its 2 and a half minutes before a bout of good old fashioned hardcore shouting. This is followed by another short and unremittingly heavy song with a silly name – ‘Mandarin Grin’. ‘Kerosene’ starts out as something you’d hear at grotty rock clubs across the country, and I mean that as a compliment, before a surprising finale of chugging guitars and Matt Reid’s, thunderous drums sculpt together and transform into a chant of “KEROSENE, KEROSENE”. The closing track ‘Bottle Rocket’ opens with the whispered vocals: “keep pushing the brakes”, before morphing into a chaotic jumble of shouting and beefed-up guitars. This all makes way for some surprisingly gentle guitar, that closes the album in great contrast to the roller coaster 45 minutes that came before. Chickenhawk are a progressive rock band with no pretences and an eye for the unexpected. The unruly 45 minutes that make up ‘Modern Bodies’ shows just how tight they are and you already sense they are the kind of band destined to have a dedicated underground cult following, similar to the like that Hell Is For Heroes had. The standout of the record is the early-noughties UK emo and post-hardcore tinged ‘I Hate This, Do You Like It?’. A fitting statement as the brutality of their sound might be too much for some, but for those of us who like our music loud, rowdy and boisterous, we sure will like it. Photobucket